PhD candidate Kerry Harker will be in conversation with Sharon Gill, Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance.
Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance (ROAR) is a not-for-profit arts organisation and National Portfolio client of Arts Council England. Founded by artists in 2003, the organisation’s mission is to support emerging and professional artists by providing studio spaces, training and advice, and access to resources and opportunities including exhibitions and collaborative projects. Currently working from a base in the centre of Rotherham, ROAR is in the early stages of fundraising for a major capital project to convert the former St Anne’s School for Boys into a new arts centre for the town.
Kerry and Sharon will discuss ROAR’s work within the often-challenging context of Rotherham. How can ROAR work to stimulate cultural vitality and contribute to place making in a town where recent social challenges have attracted national press attention for all the wrong reasons? On the other hand, what creative gains could ROAR make, with access to longer-term, affordable space in the absence of demand from commercial development, especially in the climate of precarity for many other studio providers nationally? What opportunities does the current ‘Northern Powerhouse’ conversation offer for the multiplicity of smaller towns like Rotherham that characterize the northern landscape outside of the major urban centres? Who are the key agents of change in the town, and who isn’t yet at the table? And what role might Higher Education providers offer, in the context of a town with no University of its own?
Sharon Gill is CEO of Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance, and Chair of the Board of Trustees for Beam, an arts organization based in Wakefield that promotes, commissions and delivers transformative arts programmes to inspire communities and support the development of great places.
Kerry Harker is a Postgraduate Researcher in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, Co-founder of The Tetley centre for contemporary art and learning in Leeds, and a Co-director of Leeds Sustainable Development Group.
The venue is Room 2.09 in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University Road, University of Leeds. See here for a campus map.
The event is free and all are welcome. It is organised by the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies as part of the Research Seminar Series.